China Needs More Talented People
YIN Chengji, Ministry of Resources and Social Security spokesman, said recently that China will enhance the capacity building of skilled personnel in 2011, under a national plan. It is reported that in 2010 China has enhanced the capacity building of skilled personnel, promoted the reform of technical and vocational schools, and granted 386 highly skilled personnel with special government allowance. The same year has seen the increase of some 388,000 technicians. China has also made progresses in enhancing the capacity building of high-level professionals and technical personnel, along with some incentive policies for overseas Chinese students who returned home and established their own businesses. Additionally, efforts have been made to provide better service for returned students, and recruited 481 high caliber talents from two rounds of overseas recruitment.
YIN added that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security will establish a national experts service center in 2011, allowing experts to provide their services to grassroots needs, continuing the capacity building of education centers, and promulgating by-laws for professionals' and technical personnel' continuing education. China also pays great attention to nurturing highly skilled personnel through establishing national highly skilled personnel training centers, master studios, and multi-sourced skilled personnel evaluation system, improving the public appraisal of vocational and entrepreneurial skills, and upgrading professional accreditation and competence examination systems. Meanwhile, China has established an APEC center for skill development and promotion, along with a range of skill development projects.
Chronological Framework for Paleogene Mammals
In recent years, a study team, headed by WANG Yuanqing at Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, in collaboration with American Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Natural History, clarified a range of long-standing rock stratigraphy and biostratigraphy related puzzles, with the help of the magnetostratigraphic theory, and established a chronological framework for the Paleogene mammals in the Erlian Basin of Inner Mongolia.
New findings show that the Paleogene in the Erlian Huheboer Basin can be split into three groups: the Naomugen group, Ashantou group, and Yierdingmanha group. The three groups produce 12 mammalian fossil layers, with 4 in the Naomugen group, 6 in the Ashantou group, and 2 in the Yierdingmanha group. The Huerjin group, named by American scientists, is the Yierdingmanha group called by Chinese scientists, while the Yierdingmanha group called by American scientists is actually the Ashantou group in the eye of Chinese scientists. The latest paleomagnetic data show that the upper part of the Naomugen group presents the traces of the Early Eocene, while most part of the Ashantou group belong to the Early Eocene, rather than the Eocene as previously thought. The Geshatou period lasted for 58.8-55.8 Ma, equivalent to the lower part of C26n-C24r in the magnetic polarity chronology. The Bomuba period lasted for about 55.8-54.8 Ma, or in the middle of C24r. The Ashantou period sat in 54.8-47.6 Ma, or C24r-C21r. A comparison between the Geshatou period, the Bomuba Period, and the Ashantou Period and the corresponding periods in the International Geological Time Scale shows that the former correspond to certain periods in the Paleogene of North America. In the Early Paleogene, mammals' succession was dominated by the appearance of new families and genera, in line with the changing climate at the time. In this context, the sudden appearance of numerous modern mammals in the early Eocene is likely associated with the high temperature events occurred at the turn of the Paleocene and the Eocene.
Yellow Croaker Genome Sequenced
Not long ago, scientists from Zhejiang Ocean University, Fudan University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University jointly mapped out the full genome of large yellow croaker. Scientists said the large yellow croaker has 48 chromosomes, with a genome size at 750M, or 1/4 of the human's. Sequencing large yellow croaker's genome will allow scientists to deepen their knowledge of the genetic part of the fish's growth, disease/coldness resistance, and other traits, through bioinformatics. The improved knowledge of the gene regulating mechanism and physiological metabolic pathways will lay a ground for trait improvement and genetic breeding in the future. The development indicates that China's marine biological study has entered a genome era.
The genome mapping makes the second of its kind completed by Chinese scientists on fish species, or the world's first Sciaenidae fish genome sequence.
Nationwide Food Safety Network
China has established a nationwide food safety monitoring network made up of 31 provincial, 218 prefecture-level, and 312 county-level food-borne disease surveillance stations. As a result, 138 major cities have been put under the surveillance for the quality and safety of agricultural products, with 101 varieties of foods under 6 major categories being monitored in line with 86 indicators. China has publicized the names of 5,130 qualified food safety and inspection agencies. Meanwhile, efforts have been made to establish a national food safety risk assessment center and associated regional sub-centers. A joint meeting system has also been set up to monitor food safety, along with a range of agricultural products and food inspection/testing plans.
In addition, China has prepared industrial plans for food, potato, pig slaughtering, and meat processing safety for the 12th Five-year Plan period. A meat and vegetables safety tracking system has been put into operation in 10 cities, including Shanghai and Dalian. A food expert database was also created, along with a monthly food safety monitoring and reporting system.